Speaking tribute at funeral

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  • Speaking tribute at funeral
  • My Dad passed away on the 14th.

    I’m determined to say a few words, part of which is a poem, the rest, a few words thanking people and a few memories etc.

    Trouble is, I get emotional quite easily, . . . I’ve never spoken in front of this many people in my life before.

    Any tips on holding composure in this situation greatly appreciated, anyone with similar experiences?




    Hi Keith,

    TBH this isn’t easy but I have done it three times in the last 10 years for my grandmother, my brother and for a friend at his wife’s funeral. My advice would be practice, practice and practice again to make sure you don’t stumble over the words.

    I also treated it as a great honour so a little emotion is good. If it makes it easier then don’t look at family members when speaking, if you feel the need to look up then just look at the congregation in general.



    I’m sure it won’t be easy, but you’ll be so pleased you’ve done it.

    I guess one thing you could keep in your mind is that everyone in the congregation is on your side. If you’re emotional, they aren’t going to think less of you.


    Did my grandads a few weeks ago. I found (strangely) getting angry kept my composure. A frown, gritted teeth and a clear of the throat. My tiny 19 year old (female) cousin had no such problems and made me (33yr 6ft ex-commando) feel a bit foolish. Glad I did it though so don’t be put off.

    Ho hum

    Sorry to hear your news.

    Try practising some breathing exercises beforehand to help bring down your anxiety levels.

    Also remember that no-one is going to judge your performance as such so just try and relax.

    Thanks people.


    Above +1 Nothing wrong with getting a bit emotional, remember that the audience are all on your side, they won’t mind if it isn’t a polished performance.

    Good luck

    Premier Icon jj55

    I agree with the above post, when anxiety levels are raised breathing slowly and properly can help a lot. Don’t be worried about pauses during the reading, you may think they go on forever, but those listening probably wont even notice. The thing that caught me out was the rush of emotion at the end, the final few words were the hardest, but if you are prepared for that rush you should be ok.

    You will be glad you did it!! Well done!


    I did a reading for my Grandfather. It was hard but I was glad I had done it. I’m accustomed to presenting to large groups and winging it in front of an audience. It was still hard.

    My advice is to be totally clear about what you want to say, and write it down.
    Practice to the point you don’t need the notes, but take them anyway – you may need them whilst up there.
    If you get emotional and need to pause for a moment, just do it, the congregation will understand and you can carry on when ready.


    Did this for my Mum 3 months ago

    All I can say is PRACTICE as that helps a lot
    Also have a backup to take over (vicar was mine) bit i didn’t need it in the end

    remember the whole room is on your side, not judging you


    I can’t add any more than the above – there is nothing wrong with being emotional.

    The thing is you may surprise yourself. My brother (dad’s first born) did a reading (at his request as he planned it all before he died). I honestly thought he would be a mess but he was wonderful. I think he surprised himself at that too.

    Premier Icon lowey

    Sorry for your loss mate.

    I read a very emotional piece at my mums funeral last week, and yesterday at my Nan-in-laws. Very hard. What helped me was practising in the days leading up to the funeral. Not so much as its off by heart, but just getting use to the words and their meaning. Block out the fact that you are talking infront of a couple of hundred people (in my case)and just concentrate on the words.

    Print it off in BIG letters on a bit of A4 so you have something to look at and not easy to mistake lines. Read slow, accentuate the punctuation and look at the crowd every now and again. Deep breaths. Really does help.

    Best wishes. Deeply emotional time and everyone in the congregation WILL understand. Tears are just our way of showing we care.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    Sorry to hear of the death of youf father.

    Of all the funerals I have attended, no two eulogies have been the same.

    The most amusing, however, was one read by the daughter of a family friend. He was only 67 and died unexpectedly of pneumonia.

    She spoke about how he expressed his views on people he knew or had met. “People he liked were always referred to as ‘good eggs’. People he didn’t like were ‘bad egss’.” She then turned to the priest and said, “Excuse me vicar. And people he really didn’t like were ‘[rhymes with bankers]'”.

    Don’t be afraid to speak about the rea man, and certainl;y don’t shy from being funny..!

    Good luck.

    Be honest, the emotion element is part of that so don’t worry unduly. If you are really worried have someone stand by to help you out if you need it.

    Personally I get through it by getting in the zone of thinking about all the positive things I’ve had from the person.

    Good luck

    again, thanks to everyone, some really good pointers.



    As xcgb said, make sure you have a back up, even if it’s just the vicar stepping in to help out.

    Five years ago i was determined to be a pallbearer at my brothers funeral, thankfully the funeral director had an extra person on hand on the day as when i arrived at the church i needed my mrs to help me in the church, let alone be able to help carry a coffin.

    My brothers best mate spoke on the day and he smiled, laughed and cried as he relived stories, none of which mattered as the whole congregation was doing the same along with him, if what you say is from the heart then there will be no problems even if you have to pause to compose yourself.

    A couple of fresh hankies will be essential, my thoughts are with you for the day.

    Just an update.

    Did the speech, hard at times, but took my time and everyone really appreciated it, best decision that I ever made.

    Thanks again for all the hints and tips, all of which helped me through today.



    Well done mate.


    I reckon he’d have been proud of the way you tackled your fears fella.

    Ho hum

    Well done chap 🙂


    Well done; glad it went well.

    Well done!

    I’d already done quite a lot of public speaking but still found it hard doing a reading at my father’s funeral. Doing a speech like you would have been way harder…

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